Back left
Back right

Aladdin Blu-ray Review - Some Fun but Very Few Extras

Aladdin actor’s video journal is a nice behind-the-scenes extra feature.

Sep 09, 2019
Aladdin Blu-ray Review - Some Fun but Very Few Extras - Reviewed by Kidzworld on Sep 09, 2019
( Rating: 3 Star Rating)

Kidzworld reviews Disney’s live-action Aladdin now out on Blu-ray. There aren’t very many extras but those present are entertaining. An audio commentary would have been nice.

By: Lynn Barker

Young street-thief Aladdin (Mena Massoud) meets undercover princess Jasmine (Naomi Scott) in the marketplace of her Arabian country capital and there is an instant attraction. She must marry a prince so, to gain riches and win her love, Aladdin follows the self-centered orders of throne-seeking Jafar (Marwan Kenzari), the Grand Vizier, to bring him a magical lamp, which houses a powerful Genie. Now it is up to Aladdin and Genie to stop Jafar’s plans for royal domination and enable Aladdin to marry the love of his life.

Disney's Aladdin - "A Whole New World" Film Clip

 

Street-Smart Aladdin

In Agrabah, well-liked street thief Aladdin steals what he can with the aid of his cunning pet monkey Abu. He then sells it to a fence for a scrap of bread or a small bag of dates to eat. When Aladdin sees a beautiful girl grab a couple of pieces to bread and give them to a hungry family, he helps her escape the Royal Guards who chase them both. 

Aladdin shows undercover Jasmin aroundAladdin shows undercover Jasmin around

He takes her to his place, an abandoned tower he has commandeered. She says she is Dalia, a handmaid to the princess. They both realize that they feel trapped in their lives. Abu steals her bracelet and Aladdin realizes he has to get it back to her in the palace.

Aladdin takes undercover Jasmine to his humble homeAladdin takes undercover Jasmine to his humble home

Evil Jafar

The Sultan's trusted but power-hungry advisor Jafar is plotting to overthrow the Sultan by getting his hands on a Magic Lamp containing a powerful Genie. However, it is hidden in the enchanted Cave of Wonders and he can’t enter since only a "Diamond in the Rough" is allowed inside. He starts searching for this human “diamond” planning to force him/her to do his bidding.

Jafar wants to steal the throne from the sultanJafar wants to steal the throne from the sultan

Jasmine’s Suitors

Fancy-dressed Princess Jasmine receives yet another prince who would win her hand at the palace. Prince Anders (Billy Magnussen) a handsome but seemingly dim-witted wonder, doesn’t impress her. She suggests to her dad the sultan that she could rule the land herself. He reminds her about tradition; never a female sultan and Jafar backs this up. She should be seen not heard.

Princess Jasmine refuses to be SpeechlessPrincess Jasmine refuses to be Speechless

Jasmine receives a surprise visit from Aladdin, who has come to return her mother's bracelet stolen by Abu. Still thinking she's Delia, he leaves her with a promise to meet her again, but is caught by the Royal Guards.

Aladdin is caught at the palaceAladdin is caught at the palace

Cave Treasure

Aladdin is taken to the desert by Jafar who thinks he’s found his “Diamond”.  He tells Aladdin that the girl he met was the princess and that he can make him rich enough to impress her if he helps him retrieve the magic lamp. Aladdin enters the cave filled with treasure which tempts both he and Abu but he finds an animated magic carpet and the lamp.

Aladdin finds the lampAladdin finds the lamp

Abu grabs a giant ruby and the cave closes seemingly trapping them inside forever.  Aladdin rubs the lamp and out pops a giant blue Genie who grants him three wishes. His first is to escape the cave and he, Genie and Abu are outside.

Genie tells Aladdin You'll Never Have a Friend Like MeGenie tells Aladdin You'll Never Have a Friend Like Me

Prince Ali

Hearing that the Genie has been in the lamp over 1,000 years, Aladdin offers to make his last wish to free him but first, he wishes to be a prince in the hope of winning Jasmine and he is made Prince Ali. Ali and the transformed Genie in human form enter the palace grounds in a huge entourage with elephants, dancing girls, bands etc. The sultan is impressed and welcomes him.

Prince Ali arrives in stylePrince Ali arrives in style

A New Love

Aladdin/Prince Ali is quite awkward around the princess even when Genie makes him able to dance well at a party. Genie has fallen for the servant Dalia and is off on a stroll with her while Ali tries to impress Jasmine just being himself. He uses the magic carpet from the cave to take her on a ride all over the countryside. She realizes that he is actually Aladdin but he convinces her that his street self was just a prince’s attempt to get to know the people. She was in the town doing the same thing. She buys it and they kiss.

Jasmine is unsure of Prince AliJasmine is unsure of Prince Ali

Traitor Revealed

Jafar knows Ali is Aladdin and ends up tossing the tied-up boy into the bay where he seems to drown but Abu and the carpet arrive with the lamp. Aladdin touches it and is saved by Genie. Aladdin and Genie convince the sultan and Jasmine that Jafar is a traitor and the sultan throws him into the dungeon but he escapes after his parrot sidekick, Iago brings him the keys. Meanwhile, the Sultan thanks “Ali” for revealing Jafar's treachery, and would be happy to have him marry his daughter.

Genie instructs Aladdin on how to win JasmineGenie instructs Aladdin on how to win Jasmine

Will True Love Win?

Aladdin decides to keep up the lie; let the princess and sultan believe he is a prince since it works so well. He can’t use his last wish to free Genie as promised since he feels he still needs the Genie’s magic. Heartbroken and betrayed, Genie retreats into the lamp. Aladdin finally realizes he should tell Jasmine the truth but by this point, Jafar has obtained the lamp with Genie inside!  Will “prince” Ali ever be accepted as poor thief Aladdin? Will Jafar take over as sultan by releasing the Genie and commanding him? Will Aladdin and Jasmine ever be a couple?

Genie is falling for DaliaGenie is falling for Dalia

Special Extra Features

  • Aladdin’s Video Journal: A New Fantastic Point of View – Aladdin actor Mena Massoud records his on set impressions on a cellphone. Lots on set with Will Smith and a good behind-the-scenes look at the shooting of various key scenes. A fun way to present a “making of” extra.

Director Guy Ritchie with actors Mena and NaomiDirector Guy Ritchie with actors Mena and Naomi
  • Deleted Song – “Desert Moon” – Songwriter Alan Menken introduces this short but very sweet ballad sung in two different locations by Aladdin and Jasmine. Nice.
  • Guy Ritchie: A Cinematic Genie is a tribute to the film’s director and his take on making a family film with cool, fast-paced action. Actors comment and we see more on-set stuff.
  • A Friend Like Genie features Will Smith on trying to pay tribute to Robin Williams’ original animated genie while bringing his own hip hop flavor to the role. More on set action and Will acting up on set etc. Nice especially for Will fans.

Guy Ritchie directs Will SmithGuy Ritchie directs Will Smith
  • 6 Deleted Scenes offers scenes cut out of the film. All of the CGI characters are shown in crude animation but scenes are otherwise finished. All interesting. Some funny. Well worth watching.
  • Music Videos are “Speechless” showing Naomi Scott recording the song with an orchestra. Love this. We also have “A Whole New World” sung by Zayn and Becky G. Very nice version but video is a little weak in the creativity area.

Aladdin in one of the film's many chasesAladdin in one of the film's many chases
  • Bloopers – I expected more of these. We have the usual falling down, props falling and goofing off on set.

Wrapping Up

The colorful Aladdin Blu-ray/DVD/Digital home entertainment set looks super rich and the sound; songs and dialogue came through fine on my TV set up. There is no director commentary. An audio commentary by Will Smith would have been fun. All extras are entertaining but we could have used more. Best in my book is the video journal by lead actor Mena Massoud.

Streetsmart Aladdin is a clever thiefStreetsmart Aladdin is a clever thief

The film in general, as we said when we covered it in theaters, looks great “but, despite some new plot twists and girl power additions, the storyline is thin and Will Smith is no Robin Williams. With live action, filmmakers can’t capture all the wacky, fast-moving genie hijinks achieved by Robin in the animated version but we like Will’s genie anyway”.

Mena Massoud on location in Jordan with Guy RitchieMena Massoud on location in Jordan with Guy Ritchie

Messages are obvious: Don’t lie, learn to be yourself and speak out etc. Nice but nothing unique.

With limited extras (nothing on all the costumes or set design or songs, action training etc.) we will award three stars.

Aladdin Blu-ray Rating: 3

Courtesy of Disney

Buy Aladdin on Tuesday, Sept. 10th

Let’s Hear From You!

Are you okay with a live-action Aladdin? Do you like Will as the Genie? Do you like the songs? Share your feelings here with a comment or on your profile page.